Blue Square Bet Premier
Saturday 19 March 2011 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Robinson, Simpson, Jombati, Jones (c), Clough, Burnell, Canham, Connolly, Watkins (Rollo 90), Murray (Mackie 73), Phillips. subs not used: Bohry, Henry, Mohamed.
|man of the match:
||Watkins (32), Mackie (85)
||I Cooper (Rochester), M Taylor (Southampton), M Derrien (Dorchester)
|league position: 12th
||next match: Barrow (A)
Report taken from
Hector Mackie came off the bench to score another late winner and take Bath City past manager Adie Britton's pre-season target of 48 points.
The substitute showed great composure to rifle the ball home with four minutes to go after Marley Watkin's first-half opener had been cancelled out by Matthew Coulson's explosive free-kick.
Grimsby posed plenty of threat during the afternoon but keeper Ryan Robinson produced a man-of-the-match display to help City secure another victory over the side they stunned in the FA Cup last season.
The pre-match talk had been of the club's Project 3000 campaign, which generated national headlines through its controversial discount offer to Polish people.
While the attendance fell short of the 3,000 hoped for, there was still an impressive turnout of 1,808 supporters - 434 travelling from Grimsby - for the mid-table match, perhaps helped by the glorious Spring-like conditions.
But that story was overshadowed come kick-off by the presence of joint leading goalscorer Kaid Mohamed in the stands - despite being named on the substitute's bench.
The striker had also sat out the warm-up following rumours of a disagreement with the City management prior to the match.
And with Mohamed having played without a contract during his 19 months at the club, there is now a question mark over his long-term future at the club.
Mohamed's role as lone striker was filled by the fit-again Lee Phillips in the only change to the City side which started the 1-1 draw against Kettering a fortnight ago.
Grimsby were missing four players through suspension but have been on a decent run in recent weeks and made the brighter start to the game, with Matthew Coulson fizzing a low angled drive just wide of the far post and Alan Connell forcing a save from Robinson.
City threatened in fits and starts but produced their most sustained spell of pressure in the 27th minute which ended with Watkins' low cross only being half-cleared to Adam Connolly but the midfielder got under the ball and saw his shot sail over the bar.
However, Watkins managed to find the roof of the net five minutes later to give City the lead. Scott Murray's pass down the right looked to be going out but Phillips showed great persistence to reach it and then turn a defender before prodding the ball back to Watkins, who took a touch before smashing home from ten yards.
It could have been 2-0 a couple of minutes later when Murray's corner picked out Joe Burnell six yards from goal but he failed to keep his header down.
There was a far worse miss at the other end soon after, though, when Rob Duffy somehow headed high and wide of an open goal after Connell's driven free-kick had deflected off the post and back to the striker.
Had he found the net it wouldn't have counted as the offside flag had gone up but Duffy's next strike would have brought the equaliser, had it not been thumped straight into Robinson's midriff from eight yards following a slip by Sido Jombati.
Robinson produced an even better stop in the 42nd minute, throwing himself full-stretch to his right to tip Connell's low shot around the far post.
City made a lively start to the second half and Bradley Wood found himself in the book with three minutes gone following a trip on Murray. The resulting free-kick was rolled into the path of Burnell but, as he went to hit the shot, referee Ian Cooper stepped straight into his path and sent the midfielder flying.
Grimsby were able to take advantage and launch an immediate counter-attack but, probably to the referee's relief, it came to nothing.
Marc Canham warmed the keeper's hands a minute later with a 25-yard drive as City sought a two-goal cushion but Grimsby also looked to have more urgency about them and drew level on the hour mark.
Charlie Clough was adjudged to have handled the ball on the edge of the box, earning a booking in the process, and Coulson's smashing free-kick seemed to swerve in a couple of different directions before dipping over the helpless Robinson and into the net.
That goal gave Grimbsy more momentum and they could have gone ahead in the 65th minute when Lee Ridley's throw was flicked on by Duffy but Connell could only divert the ball over the bar under pressure from Jombati.
Watkins put the ball in the net at the other end in the 72nd minute but the flag had long gone up for offside. Murray had been involved in the build-up but that was his last involvement before being replaced by Mackie.
He took up a place on the left in front of Jombati, who was having another stand-out afternoon in both defence and attack. However, Coulson was able to get behind the Portuguese in the 78th minute and drilled the ball across the six-yard box, beating Robinson but also going just too far in front of Connell as he closed in.
Former Bristol City player Lee Peacock came on for Duffy as Grimsby made their first switch with eight minutes remaining and the visitors continued to look the more threatening, with Robinson having to race off his line to clear the ball as Connell raced through.
But it was City who bagged the decisive goal with just four minutes to go - and it was a moment of class from Mackie. Sekani Simpson's whipped cross was fumbled by keeper Steve Croudson under pressure from Phillips and fell to the substitute who, rather than smack the ball first time, took a touch inside a covering defender before rifling his shot into the top corner.
The visitors felt there could have been a foul on the keeper and pushed for an equaliser but Rob Eagle had a shot deflected behind and, from the resulting corner, Michael Leary smashed the ball over the near post.
But City held on to claim another former league scalp during an impressive return to non-league's top flight.